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The Bill Simmons Podcast

Part 2: The 2023 NBA Expansion Draft with Ryen Russillo

Mon Aug 07 2023




  1. Expansion Draft Concept for the NBA
  2. Previous Expansion Drafts and Potential Unprotected Players
  3. Additional Unprotected Players and Potential Protected Players
  4. Unprotected Players and Potential Protected Players (Continued)
  5. Unprotected Players and Potential Protected Players (Continued)
  6. Expansion Draft Selections
  7. Unprotected Players and Potential Protected Players (Continued)
  8. Expansion Draft Selections (Continued)
  9. Expansion Draft Selections (Continued)
  10. Expansion Draft Selections (Continued)
  11. Expansion Draft Selections (Continued)
  12. Finalizing Teams and Building Culture
  13. Conclusion and Future Plans

Expansion Draft Concept for the NBA

07:03 - 07:03

  • The podcast continues with an expansion draft concept for the NBA.
  • The last time an expansion draft occurred was in 2004 when Charlotte became the Bobcats.
  • In that draft, teams had to protect eight players, even if they didn't have eight players under contract.
  • This time, the hosts will select up to 15 players for each of the two new teams.
  • Each team can only take one player from each existing team.
  • Teams must stay within 66% of the salary cap, which is around $89.7 million.

Previous Expansion Drafts and Potential Unprotected Players

06:33 - 13:14

  • There were teams in the past that made interesting decisions during expansion drafts, leaving important players unprotected.
  • The upcoming expansion draft will involve 10 teams having to protect eight players each.
  • For the Memphis Grizzlies, potential unprotected players include Steven Adams and Brandon Clark.
  • The New Orleans Pelicans would likely protect Ingram, Zion, Herb Jones, Dyson Daniels, Vounce Eunice, McCollum, Murphy, and Hawkins.
  • Rookies who were just drafted should be ineligible for the expansion draft to simplify the process.

Additional Unprotected Players and Potential Protected Players

12:48 - 19:42

  • Rookies should be ineligible for the exercise to keep them from being exposed
  • Hawkins is protected as a rookie but doesn't count towards the eight spots
  • Alvarado and Dance would be unprotected
  • Nancy should be kept because they need Zion insurance
  • Kyra Lewis, Zeller, Ajay Marshall, Avarado, Lydell all unprotected for Golden State
  • Clay Thompson and Chris Paul should be kept, leaving Gary Payton exposed
  • Leaving Clay exposed could be risky due to his high salary
  • Peyton or Moody could be grabbed if left exposed
  • Lakers' seven protected players are LeBron, AD, Reeves, Ruiv Vincent Vanderbilt
  • Torian Prince and Max Christie could fill the remaining two spots
  • Max Christie is highly regarded and might get picked if exposed
  • D'Angelo Russell's contract was signed with the intention of trading him in February

Unprotected Players and Potential Protected Players (Continued)

19:12 - 25:52

  • It's a tough decision whether to expose Russell or Prince in the trade.
  • The Lakers value Prince and Christie more than Russell on a winning team.
  • Detroit will protect Cade, the Thompson twin Ivy, Wiseman Stewart, Jalen Duren, and Monty Morris.
  • Bagley and Birx may be exposed by Detroit as they have been trying to trade them.
  • Grimes, Hartenstein, or McBride may be the last spot for New York to protect.
  • Oklahoma City will protect SGA, Giddy, Chad Holmgren, Jalen and Jalen Dort, Mitchitch.
  • Bertons, Oladibo, Ken Rich Williams, Garuba may be exposed by Oklahoma City.
  • Poku is available for selection by any team.
  • Sacramento will protect Fox, Sabonis Keegan Murray Herder Monk Harrison Barnes and Davion Mitchell.
  • Vessincoff is likely to be protected by Sacramento.

Unprotected Players and Potential Protected Players (Continued)

25:24 - 32:19

  • There were some really good stuff there.
  • He would be picked if he's left unprotected.
  • Bay wins that tiebreaker.
  • Sacramento has a seven of Fox, a bonus, Keegan Murray, herder, Monk, Harrison Barnes, they just brought back in Davion Mitchell.
  • In that eighth spot is between Vessincoff, Lyle's Duarte.
  • It seems like they like Vessincoff. So I'm assuming that would be the guy they protected, right?
  • They were all excited about bringing him up.
  • The three point shooting has been pretty solid.
  • I think he falls into the mid-chitch category here.
  • Last team is Utah.
  • So unprotected for Sacramento would be who? Liles to our day. Alex Len, Neuralans Don't Well, Kessler Edwards. Yes.
  • Utah is tough because it's got marketing Kessler Clarkson and Akbaji. And then we'd have to go Collins-Sexton I guess it's not as tough if we're taking work is Horton Tucker. Okay.
  • So they're unprotected just to be its year seven. Kristin shamanic. Orton Tucker. They could be you know, you learned a lot from LeBron. They could do that whole thing.

Expansion Draft Selections

31:52 - 39:13

  • I'll take Quinton Grimes as the first pick
  • Quinton Grimes is a good asset with a rookie deal
  • I would focus on acquiring assets and picks
  • We can't reveal our strategy on draft day
  • Kenrich Williams is off the board with a 4-year, $27 million contract
  • Jalen Johnson is selected as a valuable pick
  • The expansion draft rules prevent us from taking more players from the same team
  • Xavier Tillman is chosen for the team despite limitations on other Memphis options
  • Gary Payton is picked for his contractual value and potential trade opportunities
  • Jose Alvarado is selected to build a winning culture in Seattle

Unprotected Players and Potential Protected Players (Continued)

38:45 - 45:09

  • Kevin Porter Jr. would be unprotected in an expansion team
  • Houston has Van Bui, Jabari, Thompson, Whitmore, Jalen Green, Sengoon, and Eason as guaranteed players
  • Rubio has a two-year contract with Houston
  • Cleveland protected Garland, Mitchell, Allen, Mobley, Laverte, Struce, Accoro and Nying
  • Dallas protected Luca, Kyrie Haraway Jr., Grant Williams, Cleber and Josh Green
  • Seth Curry got a one-year four million dollar deal with the second year not guaranteed
  • Jaden Hardy is protected over Javille Rashaun Holmes Powell and Exum for Dallas
  • Orlando's protection includes Palaufron's black and Anthony
  • Toronto protected Siakom Barnes Obi Pertle Boucher Precious Coloco Trent Schruder McDaniel's or Flynn as the eighth player
  • Thaddeus Young aka Faggic Johnson could be left unprotected by Toronto
  • Seattle selected Ken Rich Williams Tillman Alvarado Jalen McDaniels and Duarte

Expansion Draft Selections (Continued)

44:46 - 51:21

  • Eliminated all the good players from OKC, Memphis, and New Orleans
  • Selected Zeek Najee as a rookie with talent
  • Discussion about leaving Porter Jr. unprotected due to his contract and playoff performance
  • Consideration of Rudy Gobert's protection in the draft
  • Preference for big guys in Minnesota to go against Denver
  • Disinterest in summer content of big guys doing unrealistic moves
  • Exploration of potential protected players for Minnesota

Expansion Draft Selections (Continued)

50:55 - 58:09

  • LeBron James is one of the most famous college players in the last 15 years.
  • Ben Simmons is left unprotected in an expansion team exercise.
  • The podcast hosts discuss the possibility of an expansion team taking a chance on Ben Simmons.
  • They consider the potential upside and trade value of Simmons.
  • The hosts mention the importance of having a fan favorite player on an expansion team.
  • The discussion moves on to other players that could be selected by expansion teams.

Expansion Draft Selections (Continued)

57:47 - 1:04:51

  • Selected players with trade value include Kenridge Williams, Tillman, Alvarado, McDaniel's, Killian Hayes, Zeek Nodgy, Ben Simmons, and Sam Houser.
  • The podcast hosts discuss the possibility of drafting one player from every team.
  • They mention that they have not yet selected a player from the Lakers.
  • The hosts debate whether to select Cam Reddish or not.
  • They discuss the Miami Heat and their protected players including Butler, Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, Caleb Martin, Yovitch, Lillard joke butch.
  • They consider protecting Kevin Love for the Miami Heat.
  • For Orlando Magic, they discuss Jonathan Isaac and potential unprotected players like Gary Harris.
  • The hosts mention Bruce Brown as a protected player for the Pacers and debate between McConnell and Nemhart for protection.
  • They talk about Charlotte Hornets' protected players such as LaMelo Ball and Hayward. They also mention that Book Knight is available for selection.
  • One of the hosts decides to select Bones Island from the Clippers.
  • They mention that no Lakers or Utah Jazz players have been selected yet.
  • One host selects someone from Utah Jazz based on scout recommendations regarding his diet.

Expansion Draft Selections (Continued)

1:04:24 - 1:11:52

  • The pickings are getting slim as each team has nine players.
  • No Lakers or Utah Jazz person has been taken yet.
  • Utah's Oni is chosen for his diet and work ethic.
  • Robin Lopez is selected as a backup big guy with experience in big games.
  • Milwaukee's unprotected players include Crowder, Robin Lopez, Beasley, Nauses, and AJ Green.
  • Thanos is chosen as an additional player for the team.
  • Watnabi from Phoenix is picked as another shooter for the team.
  • Caloco from Toronto is chosen to complete the Arizona teammates on the team.
  • Kevin Love from Miami is selected to join the team.
  • Jackson Hayes from the Lakers is considered but ultimately not chosen.

Finalizing Teams and Building Culture

1:11:28 - 1:18:23

  • The Vegas regrets and Minnesota teams are finalized with their protected players.
  • Seattle SuperSonics and the Vegas regrets are compared in terms of building culture and taking risks.
  • Isaac from the Magic is discussed as a valuable defensive player.
  • The decision to not take D'Angelo Russell is explained as a choice between him and Killian Hayes.
  • The hope for both teams is to find young players who have fallen through the cracks.
  • Upcoming NBA over-unders podcast with House is mentioned, along with potential live shows in Baton Rouge and Manhattan Beach.

Conclusion and Future Plans

1:18:02 - 1:20:47

  • Podcast will be ending soon.
  • Thanks to the guests and crew.
  • Upcoming projects and events mentioned.
  • Host will be gone for the next two weeks.
  • Excitement for upcoming football and basketball seasons.